‘Cultural Marxism’ Is Real, and Threatens Us Everywhere
Every decent person was horrified at the synagogue shooting in Poway, California. Killing of the innocent is repugnant to our very guts because it flouts the natural law. Most Christians believe that law’s written right on the human heart. (Rom. 2:15) You don’t need divine revelation to know about it. So there’s literally no excuse. In fact, like incest, it’s a taboo found universally among humans.
But just in case, God reiterated it in the Covenant of Noah. And the Ten Commandments. And the words of Jesus Himself. There is no warrant anywhere in scripture for Jews or Christians to serve as vigilante killers. We’ve no duty like jihad, a form of combat which some Muslims view allegorically. (Though it’s most often used in the Quran to refer to literal warfare such as Muhammad himself once led.) That literal, combat sense of the Arabic word is taught at radical madrasas and online recruiting sites to millions around the world.
The Lie of Jewish Blood Guilt
You’ll find no “crusader schools.” The last “crusader order,” the Knights of Malta, now only does medical missions. No Christian denomination, including that of the vile, hate-filled Poway shooter, urges the killing of infidels. The particular lie which the shooter deduced from misreading Christ’s passion narrative? That Jews today have inherited some blood-guilt for Jesus’ death. It’s likewise taught almost nowhere, except a few tiny, hateful half-literate websites. Certainly not at the Calvinist church he attended.
It was widespread for centuries, alas. And Jews in medieval Europe, even 19th century Russia, were targeted by mobs at Easter time. These Christians were allegedly grateful for the Jewish redeemer Jesus. But they ignored their own sins in favor of scapegoating His cousins. Thankfully, the lesson of the Shoah forced churches to confront that evil legacy. My own Catholic church, with many others, works hard to correct this Satanic inversion of Jesus’ message.
Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness
In light of all this, must Christians take the terror attack in Poway as an occasion for scathing introspection? Some pastors are spreading this message. And Christian-unfriendly media are eagerly repeating it. Certainly we must be on guard against the slightest resurgence of traditional anti-Judaism, much less modern anti-Semitism. But many are spreading the net of scrutiny much further than it should go. In so doing they risk violating the Commandment against “false witness,” by imputing extremism or hatred where it in fact doesn’t exist.
Some Christians combed through the murderer’s manifesto and cherry-picked his language. Then they demanded that we alter our discourse because the killer distorted it. For instance, they noted that he railed against “Cultural Marxism,” as some other white racists do. From that, they concluded that it’s a piece of hate speech. One we should treat as a “red flag” when we see it.
Cultural Marxism Isn’t Just Real, It’s Our Ruling Ideology
There’s a problem with that. Namely, the real, historical existence of self-styled Cultural Marxists. This movement exists. It began with Antonio Gramsci, and carried on via major figures such as Herbert Marcuse. They really did apply Marxist dialectics to culture instead of economics. Their ideas lie behind the hugely influential, incredibly corrosive ideology of Intersectionalism. It dominates college campuses. Administrators are setting personnel policies and eviscerating reading lists of white male authors because of it. Reagan biographer Paul Kengor, of Grove City College, warned us that he couldn’t teach the history of Marxism if forced to shove “Cultural Marxism” into the Memory Hole. Yes, some extremists misuse the term. But then, most of the tyrannies in the Soviet bloc called themselves “republics.” Should we deep-six that word, too?
That might prove convenient for some. Especially for those who want to replace Jewish and Christian notions of justice with the crude, collective guilt-based ethics that Intersectionalists borrowed from Marx. But of course, it was just that level of crass, tribal blame-shifting that the murderer believed in. How ironic, then, to kill the letter of his manifesto, while living by its spirit.
Dressing Up Christianity in Marxist Drag
Too many Christians, eager to accommodate the spirit of the age, are in fact doing something quite similar. They accept and try to baptize the “race/class/gender” dialectic that captured our campuses. But it’s no more compatible with genuine Christianity than polygamy or human sacrifice. It’s alien to us and what we believe. Not because Marx was Jewish but because he was anti-Jewish. He rejected divine transcendence, and inalienable human dignity — the two greatest legacies which our gentile ancestors received as gifts of the Jews.
Efforts to tart up Christian faith in the hope of attracting those whose minds are Marxist are doomed to ludicrous failure. Or even worse, to perverse success. Philosopher Rene Girard warned of the postmodern heresy he called “Victimism.” It’s the effort to grasp at power by posing as the champion of victims, while scapegoating the innocent who are of the same race, class, or gender as long-dead oppressors. Ironically, it lies behind much of hateful boycotts and bias aimed at Jews, with Israeli policies as their pretext.
Christians shouldn’t fall for it. We really have no excuse.